Objective: Plenty of plant extracts have been used for treating hair loss. This study aims to investigate the effects of liposterolic extracts of Serenoa repens (LSESr) on hair cell growth and regeneration of hair, and clarify the associated mechanisms.
Materials and methods: Human keratinocyte cells (HACAT) were cultured, incubated with dihydrotestosterone (DHT) and treated with LSESr. Cell viability was examined by using 3-(4,5-dimethyl-2-thiazolyl)-2,5-diphenyl-2-H- tetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay. Hair loss C57BL/6 mouse model was established by inducing with DHT. Hair growth, density, and thickness were evaluated. Back skin samples were collected and stained with hematoxylin and eosin (HE) assay. B-cell lymphoma-2 (Bcl-2), Bcl-2 associated protein X (Bax), cleaved caspase 3 and transforming growth factor β2 (TGF-β2) were examined using Western blot assay.
Results: LSESr treatment significantly increased HACAT cell viabilities compared to DHT-only treated cells (p<0.05). LSESr treatment post injection of DHT significantly converted skin color from pink to gray and increased hair density, weight and thickness compared to DHT-only treated mice (p<0.05). LSESr treatment significantly triggered follicle growth and decreased inflammatory response. LSESr treatment significantly decreased TGF-β2 and cleaved caspase 3 expression of hair loss mouse models compared to that of DHT treated mice (p<0.05). LSESr treatment significantly enhanced Bcl-2 expression and reduced Bax expression compared to that of DHT treated mice (p<0.05). Meanwhile, effects of LSESr were substantial even achieving to the potential of finasteride.
Conclusions: LSESr promoted the hair regeneration and repair of hair loss mouse models by activating TGF-β signaling and mitochondrial signaling pathway.